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Book Review: The Traveler (Fourth Realm, #1) by John Twelve Hawks

the travelerPretty tiresome tripe.  Crap, really.  Just opening to the first page will pain your sensibilities.

Essentially, there exists a group of people with special powers to cross over to other dimensions. Then there are a group of people who are sworn to protect them. Then there are a group of people working to hunt them down. All this takes place in a very near future dystopian surveillence society (future as in….like a month from now). Its basically the Matrix with swords. Oh yeah…the Matrix did have swords. Hmmmmm….The Matrix and like…10 other recent sci-fi books and movies!

The story opens in London where a young woman named Maya is trained to fight in some ninja-esque, Matrix-like way by a very powerful father.  She uses all the newest technology to hide in plain site of the thousands of surveillance cameras throughout the city.  At the same time, across the pond in New York City this shadowy organization uses the GPS system of one of thier victims to hunt him down and dispatch him. At the same time in L.A. a man with a motorcycle haunted by his past, leaves behind the modern world and goes “off-grid”.  Maya has to save the motorcycle dude because he is more important than he knows.

Here you have a brazen and clumsy rip-off of the Matrix, John Woo, the Highlander, Lara Croft and every ridiculous cliche that was ever invented by mankind. The book quickly becomes a slog, drowning in its own overwrought cliches and memes we’ve seen in a million other venues.

Did the author really not think he’d be busted for ripping off several recent sci-fi movies and books?

There is nothing origional here and that’s what I found most annoying (oh yeah…and the writing was pretty bad too): Those who have the ability to cross over are…yes…Travelers. They are persued…yes…The Bretheren. And the protectors are the Harlequins. Good Lord. The most ridiculous aspect to the whole book is the ever so tiresome fascination some people have with a fantasized historical Japan of golden swords and ninjas and secret societies. The Bretheren want to kill all the Travelers and of course the last Harlequin that can defend them is some hot chick named Lara Croft…oh wait!that wasnt really her name just her copied character…anyway, a hot chick with a British accent (she’ll only enter a room with three exits….and only wears dark clothing of the finest fabrics, perfectly tailored….bwwwwhahahahahahaha!) and a Japanese guy out to avenge his father’s murder. Yawn.

Most painfully, perhaps is the thought that, when you reach the end of this mess of a book…there are still two more books to go….its a trilogy!


I think someday, someone will do something origional.

But maybe not.


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